Monday, January 23, 2012

Surprises At Your Local Bookstore

Parents - if you are in the habit of turning your young ones loose inside the local bookstore, such as Barnes & Noble, you might want to look around inside of that store first. You might be surprised at what is sitting on the shelves.

Finding adult themed books on shelves labeled for 'Relationships', 'Social Studies', 'Health', 'Lifestyles', etc, should in no way surprise you. Depending on the specific store and the mindset of the management, there can be some pretty risque and graphic materials sitting there within reaching distance of your young ones. You should also not be surprised that there is no one watching to make sure your young ones don't pick up those materials to spend some quality sneak time.

I was in a local Barnes & Noble this past weekend, browsing through the military history section. Right next to it was a section for 'Social Studies'. I saw a book end with the title 'Suicide Girls' sitting on a waist high shelf. Curious as to what that was all about, I picked it up. What was inside was very graphic photos of nude and semi-nude women, depicting a style called 'Suicide Girls'. Lots of tatoos, lots piercings, lots of dark makeup. The nudity didn't stop with breasts, which were aplenty. There was some very explicit full frontal nudity in it as well.

Now, I'm not a prude, and this kind of material doesn't offend me personally. However, having it on a shelf at or just below eye level of grade school kids doesn't seem to be the best of ideas. Even worse, this shelf unit was directly across a narrow aisle from the kids section. So, on one side of the aisle you've got naked chicks, on the other are reading assistance books for grades 1-5.

I found an employee, and asked him to come with me. I wanted to inform him of the situation. When we got about 20 feet away from the aisle, he said 'I already know what you're going to show me'. He was completely aware of it, agreed that it was a bad idea, and said that his management knew all about it. I asked why it hadn't been changed. His answer indicated that corporate had laid out the store, and local management couldn't change it.

Below is the cover of said book. Trust me, the photo is a lot more tame than what was inside the cover. It also was not the only book that would not be appropriate for underage readers in that section.

This specific store has a real problem with its subject section placement. However, you are very likely to find books that are inappropriate for children in any of these stores. So, know where those books are, or at least keep tabs on your kids, unless you want them getting a dose of unintentional sex ed.

No comments: